Tags: Egypt | Pulls | Ambassador | From | Israel

Egypt Pulls Ambassador From Israel

Tuesday, 21 November 2000 12:00 AM

"This step constitutes a very important and basic message that Israel has to understand: We cannot take it anymore: the aggressive acts, the excessive use of force and the use of force against Palestinian civilians in their territories," Moussa said.

President Hosni Mubarak announced his decision to recall Ambassador Mohamed Bassiouny from the Egyptian Embassy in Tel Aviv in response to Monday night's attacks by Israelis on targets in Gaza. Israel said it was acting in retaliation for the bombing of a bus carrying Israeli children. Two adults died in the bus attacks.

About 250 people, mainly Palestinians, have been killed in eight weeks of violence.

The foreign ministry in Cairo was quick to point out that it was not closing its embassy or cutting ties with Israel. "There is a lot to hear from him (Bassiouny)," Moussa said. But Egypt's top diplomat would not say what Cairo's next step would be in its relations with Israel.

Egypt was the first Arab state to establish diplomatic relations with Israel in 1979 as part of the land for peace formula. It has been at the forefront of diplomat efforts to resolve Israel's continued dispute with the Palestinians, Syrians and Lebanese.

"Egypt's decision expresses its extreme displeasure with what is going on in the occupied territories against the Palestinians," Moussa said. "It does not augur well for the future of the peace process and the future of relations in the Middle East. We stand behind a peace process which is just and fair."

Moussa discounted Israel's claim that Egypt risks its ability to participate in the peace proceedings by withdrawing its ambassador.

"The peace process has no tickets that Israel will issue for those who want to participate," he said.

Copyright 2000 by United Press International. All rights reserved.

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This step constitutes a very important and basic message that Israel has to understand: We cannot take it anymore: the aggressive acts, the excessive use of force and the use of force against Palestinian civilians in their territories, Moussa said. President Hosni...
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2000-00-21
Tuesday, 21 November 2000 12:00 AM
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